Canoe Reach is a region of high geothermal potential on a segment of the Southern Rocky Mountain Trench fault (SRMTF) with highly metamorphosed and structurally complex wall rocks, near Valemount, British Columbia. This study contains analyses of magnetotelluric data collected at Canoe Reach accounting for electrical anisotropy, which is not often considered during geothermal exploration. Isotropic and anisotropic 3D inversions are used due to signs of electrical anisotropy in the Canoe Reach magnetotelluric data and the presence of visibly anisotropic geological structure. At Canoe Reach North, the anisotropic model is preferred for its simpler structure and consistency with the mapped geology. An anisotropic feature in the footwall of the steeply southwest-dipping SRMTF has a low resistivity in the fault-perpendicular direction and a high resistivity in the vertical direction, which is more easily explained by conductive minerals than by fluids in the highly metamorphosed gneiss. An exploration well in the SRMTF footwall encountered two graphite seams with thicknesses ≥1 m, supporting the interpretation of anisotropic resistivity due to conductive minerals. A strong resistivity contrast across the SRMTF suggests juxtaposition of different lithologies, challenging existing interpretations of SRMTF displacement at Canoe Reach. At Canoe Reach South, anisotropic features near the Canoe River thermal spring with a high resistivity in the fault-perpendicular direction and low resistivity in the vertical direction are consistent with fault core and damage zone models. Magnetotelluric data may be sensitive to permeability anisotropy of fault zones, and the use of electrically anisotropic inversions should be considered for these settings.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.